The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has urged religious leaders to lead in the anti-corruption fight and to promote good governance.
The charge was given during a one-day dialogue organized recently by the Education, Social and Health Mission (MESH), a member of ICPC’s National Anti-Corruption Coalition (NACC), with support from Lux Terra Leadership Foundation.
The Commission gave this charge through an Assistant Director, Mrs. Ese Miriam Okwong, who stated that religious stakeholders were key to the war against corruption.
In her goodwill message, she charged the stakeholders to take the fight against corruption to all, through the enthronement of integrity, transparency, and accountability among the people.
Okwong added that all hands must be on deck for the anti-corruption war to succeed. She identified endemic corruption level as the root of the country’s problem, from insecurity to poor infrastructure development.
“There is no gain saying that faith-based institutions are key partners in driving home issues of ethics and morals which are much needed today in our nation,’ she said.
She further urged the faith-based institutions to use their influence to bring about the desired change and to promote the National Ethics and Integrity Policy (NEIP).
“The growth of our dear nation is tied to the commitments of different stakeholders which includes me and you. The fight against corruption must be owned by all citizens and I therefore enjoin you to deploy the knowledge acquired from here in battling endemic corruption and related offences.”
Also speaking at the event, the Programme Lead of MESH, Hajiya Khadijah Oladipupo, called on Muslim and Christian leaders to preach and encourage accountability, transparency, and good governance through faith-based intervention.
She said, “Religious leaders must be involved in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. We must support the government to strengthen the fight against corruption to get out of the hardship in the country.” She noted.
Likewise, the Africa Director of MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Kole Shettima, in his goodwill message, stated that faith leaders have a role to play in terms of molding and modelling of a good society in the country.
He added that the MacArthur Foundation supports faith-based institutions because it believes that faith has a role to play in the lives of individuals as values learned would reflect in their actions.
In another goodwill message, the Head of Administration, Lux Terra Foundation Nwa Akabugo, called on Muslim and Christian leaders to preach and encourage accountability and transparency through faith-based interventions.
The workshop featured paper presentations on Building Strong Institutions as Veritable Tools for Good Governance; The Role of Faith Institutions in Promoting Good Governance in Nigeria; Religious Teachings and Principles Supporting and Transparent and Accountable Governance (Islam and Christianity Perspectives); and Data as a Tool for Engaging Government Institutions on Transparency and Accountability.
The dialogue also featured a robust panel discussion on “Faith Institutions as watchdogs of public resources and Finance” moderated by Mr. Danjuma Abdullahi of Ummah Support Initiative.